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New Music Workshop of Miskolc

From Unearthing The Music

The New Music Workshop of Miskolc was established in November 1976 by composer György Semleczi. It was the second Hungarian contemporary music group after the foundation of the New Music Studio, and the first one in Hungary which regularly played modern music.

The New Music Workshop was founded due to Miskolc's young musicians' dissatisfaction with the way official music institutes played the works of 20th century composers. Their goal was to present modern music to the public with high standards. Their first concert took place in the autumn of 1976. György Selmeczi was not only the intellectual leader of the workshop, but he also contributed as a conductor and pianist in the concerts.

Moreover, he made short lectures about the music pieces before the concerts. The musicians performed approximately 12 concerts per year and presented pieces from 20–25 modern composers. Hungaroton Records released the workshop’s debut album in 1985, with pieces by Stravinsky, and some lesser-known composers (Webern, Maderna, and Varèse).

The New Music Workshop of Miskolc became well known quickly, despite the misgivings of official music institutes (this strict relationship kept until the change in regime). Over the years, the workshop presented more than 300 musical works in Miskolc. The workshop regularly played works by Japanese (Fukushima, Shinohara), Polish (Krauze, Boguslawski), Romanian (Taranu, Cornel), American (Rzewski, Wolff, Crumb, Varèse), French (Messiaen, Jolivet), Greek (Xenakis) and Italian (Berio) masters. Works by Hungarian composers were given a lead role in the concerts, with the group playing music by László Borsódy, Attila Bozay, József Bujtás, László Dubrovay, György Kurtág, István Matuz, György Orbán, and András Szőllősy, among others. They also played the music made in the Electroacoustic Music Studio of the Hungarian Radio (for example the works of Máté Victor, Iván Székely, István Márta), and the compositions created by the musicians of the New Music Studio (László Vidovszky, Zoltán Jeney, Barnabás Dukay, Gyula Csapó) too.

References

  • Grabócz Márta: New Music Workshop Miskolc. In: Music [Muzsika], 1980. 10. sz. 18–20.;
  • Turi Gábor: Music Workshops. In: Hajdú-Bihar Journal [Hajdú-Bihari Napló], 1985. szeptember 19., 5.;
  • ’I’m interested in the whole life of music.’ A conversation with György Selmeczi, leader of the New Music Workshop Miskolc. An interview by László J. Győri. In: Critique [Kritika], 1988. 11. sz. 34–35.